Are you tired? Did you get enough sleep last night? Two-thirds of adults fail to get the recommended eight hours of ZZZs a night. Not getting enough sleep could contribute to making you fat and it can wreak havoc on your immune system. Lack of sleep also makes you more prone to cancer, dementia, and heart disease. But what if the person you’re sharing the bed with is making it impossible for you to get a good night’s sleep?
Now more and more couples are opting for a sleep divorce to help them improve their health and get some shut-eye. According to the National Sleep Foundation, one in four married couples sleep in separate beds. The biggest reasons why? Different work schedules, body heat, restless legs, and snoring. Sleep divorce made headlines when TV host Carson Daly announced he had been served.
“We can think of it more of as a sleep alliance, what works best for the couple,” states Cherlette McCullough, a marriage and family therapist.
Forty-six percent of Americans polled wished they could sleep apart from their partner. There are things couples can do to have an effective sleep divorce. One, remind yourself that sleeping apart doesn’t mean your relationship is on the rocks.
“I think it should be an open conversation, being open when they come together to talk about the reasons for a sleep divorce,” says McCullough.
Consider some sleep compromises. Try sleeping apart on the weekdays and together on the weekends. And be intentional about other forms of physical closeness. Ramp up physical affection throughout the day, anything from going to dinner together to cuddling on the couch. And remember...
“That doesn’t mean that we love each other less. It doesn’t mean that we’re not connected,” says McCullough.
Sleeping separately can have a positive impact on your emotional well-being as well. A recent study of heterosexual couples found that a good night’s sleep increased reports of men treating their wives better, which in turn helped the women get a better night’s sleep.